Let’s help you choose the right Vienna boat tour for your trip!
The Danube River runs through Vienna, but because it doesn’t cross right through the Innere Stadt or District 1, which is the old town, it can be easy to miss.
Between the palace, cathedral, museums, art galleries and famous cafes, you could very easily come to the end of your trip in Vienna and realize, you haven’t yet walked along the Danube Canal, let alone the Danube River!
So if you want to cruise the Danube, you’re going to have to be proactive and book a tour. But which one should you pick and where should you cruise?
When it comes to picking a Vienna boat trip, there are no shortage of options. You can take a day trip to Bratislava and then travel back by boat, spend the day exploring the Wachau Valley vineyards on a cruise, enjoy a boat tour with dinner and live music, try out a private e-boat and so much more.
So we’re going to help you figure out which of these Vienna boat tours is right for you! Let’s narrow it down.
My Top 3 Picks: Vienna Boat Tour
Best Vienna Boat Tour
This Vienna boat tour is an exciting one because it takes you all the way to Bratislava, Slovakia! That means you can add another European country to your list!
On the way to Bratislava, you travel by bus. This is a 1-hour journey aboard a coach bus.
Once you arrive in Bratislava, you will meet a local guide who will take you on a guided walking tour of the old town. The tour will last about 2 hours and afterwards, you’ll have additional time to explore Bratislava on your own and perhaps retrace your steps to some of the attractions that most interest you.
A few attractions not to be missed in Bratislava’s old town include:
St. Martin’s Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral that’s been the site of many coronations; Michael’s Gate, the only gate that has been preserved in the city; the Bratislava Fortifications, the last remaining stretch of the medieval city walls; and Roland Fountain, a fountain topped by Knight Roland who was the legendary defender of the city.
I would suggest making time to visit Bratislava Castle. Built in the 9th century and modified many times over, this 4-towered castle sits perched on a hill overlooking the Danube River.
It’s a beautiful walk to the top offering nice views over the Old Town, plus you also have the Slovak National Museum and the Baroque Gardens on the north side.
You’ll also have plenty of time to try Slovak food during the day. I really enjoyed a restaurant called Modrá Hviezda which is set in a cave at the foot of the castle hill. It’s a pretty unique dining experience so ask to be seated in the back if there’s room.
We ordered pork chop covered in crushed walnuts with a honey-mustard sauce and a side of roasted potatoes, and duck cooked in a wine sauce with forest mushroom and potato pancakes.
After enjoying your day trip to Bratislava, you’ll make your way down to the pier to board the boat to Vienna. You’ll travel aboard the Twin City Liner, which is a catamaran. The journey time back to Vienna is 1.5 hours.
Bring your passport on this boat trip as you are entering another country and you may be required to present it.
- You get to visit another country
- Full-day activity
- Plenty of time for solo exploration
⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | ✅ Book it!
This day trip to the Wachau Valley isn’t a full-day boat tour, however, it does include a boat tour segment in the itinerary when you do this trip during the summer months!
You’ll start the day leaving Vienna and travelling by van down narrow countryside roads deep into the heart of the Wachau Valley.
Along the way, your driver and guide will teach you all about the history of wine-making in the region which dates back to the time of the Romans!
During the tour, you’ll get to taste a variety of dry and fruity white wines from the Wachau Valley and sample other local delicacies like apricot jams and liqueurs.
If you take this tour during the summer months (technically mid-May to mid-October), you’ll be able to enjoy a boat ride on the Danube River from Spitz to Melk. Since this isn’t possible during the winter months, this activity gets replaced with a guided tour of Melk Abbey.
Once you arrive in the medieval town of Dürnstein, you’ll get free time to explore. The castle ruins are an important attraction in the area since this is where Richard the Lionhearted was once held prisoner.
Finally, you’ll get to visit a heuriger, which is a traditional family-run Austrian wine tavern. Here you’ll enjoy a wine tasting!
You can browse more wine tours in Vienna here.
- Great way to explore an Austrian wine region
- Visits beautiful medieval towns
- Scenic boat ride during the summer months
⭐️ RATING: 4.1/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours | ✅ Book it!
This Vienna boat tour down the Danube River is an opportunity to enjoy live music with an Austrian dinner.
During the cruise, you circle Vienna’s 2nd district which offers scenic views of the illuminated skyline. You get to see landmarks like the Danube Tower, the Danube Plate, and the DC Tower.
Plus, you can also see historic buildings such as the Anniversary Church, the Ringturm and the Rossauer Barracks.
The performance is all Viennese Heuriger music. If you’re wondering what that is, you’re not alone! Heuriger refers to a wine tavern, so these are traditional songs played mainly on guitars and accordions which add to the merriment of the place.
Dinner is served buffet style featuring classic Viennese dishes.
- Get to listen to traditional wine tavern music
- Scenic views of Vienna
- Buffet dinner featuring Austrian cuisine
⭐️ RATING: NEW! | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour | ✅ Book it!
If you’re looking for the most unusual Vienna boat ride, this one here might be it!
This is a very unique setup where you get your own e-boat Island. Picture something like a round floating deck complete with comfortable patio furniture and a palm tree.
Dinner is served before the cruise and includes a main course meal, either Viennese Schnitzel or a vegetarian option, and one bottle of red or white wine.
You then begin your e-boat sail down the Danube River, but it’s not as tricky as it sounds. The e-boats are extremely easy to drive using a joystick control.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind boat cruise in Vienna, this one fits the bill.
- Unique boat experience
- Get your own private e-boat island
- Viennese Schnitzel and wine for dinner
⭐️ RATING: 4.3/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3.5 hours | ✅ Book it!
This Vienna boat cruise takes place aboard the MS Kaiserin Elisabeth.
During the tour, you’ll get to enjoy the Danube River from a unique perspective as well as iconic landmarks like the Donauplatte, the Danube Tower, and the Millennium Tower.
This cruise also features live Heuriger music which creates a very lively environment with the musicians encouraging participation from the public.
Dinner is BBQ served buffet style and the grand finale is a beautiful fireworks display to end off the evening.
- BBQ dinner buffet
- Live Austrian wine tavern music
- Fireworks display while cruising the Danube River
Choosing a Vienna boat tour
So what’s the best Vienna boat tour, you ask?
As you’ve seen, there are all sorts of different options: you can enjoy a river cruise on the Danube River with dinner and live music, a scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley wine region, a private tour on your own e-boat island, or a boat tour coming back from Bratislava to Vienna.
You have lots of choices and hopefully, this blog post has helped you narrow it down to the right one for you!